CMOs See Strong Revenue Growth Overseas; Prioritize Digital Presence

August 24, 2012

dukecmosurvey-average-percent-growth-intl-markets-aug2012.pngCMOs are seeing big sales growth in international markets, with revenue from Korea (75%), China (51.5%), and Brazil (49.7%) all increasing markedly over the past 12 months, according to [pdf] the latest CMO Survey from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, released in August 2012. A separate survey of CMOs from Limelight Networks finds 9 in 10 reporting moderate or significant improvement in site engagement, lead generation, or revenue after implementing websites with regional content.

Overall, CMOs responding to the Duke University survey said that sales revenue from the leading international markets had grown by an average of 23.7% over the past 12 months.

China, Canada Lead As Growth Markets

Topping the list of growth markets are Canada and China, according to the survey. 24.2% of respondents said that Canada was their top growth market (up from 16% in February), while 21.5% tabbed China (up from 15%). After the aggregate of all other markets (20.6%), Western Europe is seen as the leading growth market by the next-largest proportion of respondents, at 16.3%, though that represents a fall from 23% in February. Other markets that fewer respondents named as their top growth destination in the August survey included: Brazil (4.6% vs. 7%); Middle East (4% vs. 7%); India (1.8% vs. 3%); and Mexico (2.1% vs. 3%).

China Becoming a Key Market for B2C Cos.

China is certainly becoming a more critical market for B2C companies. For the August survey, 21.2% of of B2C product companies said China was their top growth market, more than double the 10.3% from the February survey. Similarly, the proportion of B2C service companies indicating China to be their top growth market more than doubled, from 6.3% to 12.9%.

B2B product companies, though, have the most affinity for the Chinese market: 26.3% cite it as their leading growth market, though this is relatively unchanged from 24.7% in February. 14.6% of B2B service companies named China their top growth market, up from 10.5% 6 months earlier.

CMOs Look to Improve Regional Websites

Meanwhile, details from Limelight Networks’ “CMO Survey: Global Website Challenges” indicate that among respondents – who are responsible for their company’s website globalization strategy – 7 in 10 currently manage more than 6 regional websites. Even so, there is much work to be done: three-quarters said that at least 20% of the content on their regional websites is out-of-date or behind at any one time. The biggest challenge for these CMOs is the complexity of platforms: 57% of the total respondent base said that it was a challenge to use multiple platforms to manage sites and content. (A regional website is defined as an adapted version of the company’s core website whose content has been translated and/or altered to match the region that it serves.)

For companies that are able to master a digital presence overseas, opportunity abounds. An April 2012 report from WorldPay found that consumers in India (33%), China (31%), and Brazil (27%) spend significant portions of their disposable income online.

Other Findings:

  • 89% of respondents to the Limelight Networks survey are adding at least 2 regional websites in the next 12 months, and 80% are redesigning and/or updating at least that many.
  • Three-quarters of the CMOs are planning to add at least 2 languages over the next 12 months.

About the Data: The Duke University CMO Survey is conducted online twice a year. The latest survey was fielded from July 17 to August 3, 2012. 528 CMOs responded to the survey, of which 86% were VP level or above.

Limelight Networks surveyed 200 U.S.-based CMOs and VPs of Marketing responsible for the strategy, development, and/or implementation of their company’s website globalization strategy. Of the 200 marketing executives surveyed, 92% currently manage regionally-focused sites in addition to the main corporate site, while 8% do not currently manage regionally-focused sites, but are planning on adding regional websites within the next 12 months. 63% of survey participants described themselves as serving business, while 65% said they serve consumers. When comparing responses of participants from B2B versus B2C companies, the majority of answers were similar.

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